Optimising eCommerce Sites for Search Engines – Part Two

Off-Page Optimization

Offsite optimization is all about acquiring quality inbound keyword links. It is best to get links from high ranking websites and web pages, but internal repeating links within your own website also count. Here’s how to improve off-page SEO:

  • Submit articles to various article directories for syndication and curation, making sure your content contains many keyword links back to your other content pages.
  • Go social! Create profiles on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networks to get links from existing customers.
  • Cross-reference related items between individual product pages (include accessories or similar products). This creates healthy internal links.
  • Create and share video content to attract more visitors.
  • Create a blog and be active in forum discussions in the area of your business.
  • Issue press releases and PR briefs about product launches, events and promotional offers regularly.

 

Just starting out as an online retailer with a few products to sell? Selling thousands of products online for many years now? Either way, make sure your eCommerce site is optimized for the search engines so you are most visible to your potential customers.

WSI can help optimize your eCommerce site for higher page rankings, better conversions and increased sales. Contact WSI eMarketing to drive greater search engine traffic and more conversions (sales) on your eCommerce website.

 

 

Optimising eCommerce Sites for Search Engines – Part One

eCommerce SEOOnline sales need online visibility!

If your business relies on an eCommerce site, then you know it’s important to appear in the organic search results ahead of your competitors; especially if your competitors are selling the same products online. Having top rankings for an eCommerce website is crucial for long term success in the online marketing world.

On-Page Optimisation

Optimising an eCommerce site isn’t that different than optimising any other type of web site. To make a page rank well in the organic search results, it needs a good title tag (that includes the keywords you’re targeting); and good content on the page that includes the appropriate keywords. Here are some more tips for on-page optimisation:

  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
  • To achieve good keyword focus, limit yourself to just one or two keywords per content page. You can even create a page for each product in your store so that you can take advantage of long-tail keyword phrases.
  • One reason why product pages on eCommerce sites appear in the search engine indexes and then disappear is because they are duplicating content (which the search engines catch on). Keep content and tags unique.
  • If you’re selling products that your competitors are also selling, then your product descriptions need to be unique and different from theirs. Don’t just copy the generic product descriptions of items that are provided by the manufacturer. You’ll risk having your page considered a duplicate page by Google and other search engines.
  • Add links to related products or accessories, or perhaps a testimonial about the product. Adding ‘related products’ type of navigation on your product pages will help visitors stay on your site.
  • Product Reviews can increase your visibility and improve your page rankings. This gives the search engines more content to read and also creates a third party endorsement for your product.

Online shoppers are using search engines to compare product features and prices, and if your eCommerce site isn’t positioned in the top search engine results, you’re missing out on a lot of potential online sales!

Is your e-commerce site struggling to rank? Did you find this article useful? Let us know. Comment Below!

Stay tuned until next week for part two: Off-Page optimisation, or contact your WSI eMarketing consultant today to find out how WSI can help optimize your eCommerce site for higher page rankings, better conversions and increased sales.

 

Top Tips for Product Page Perfection – Part Two

Product Page Perfection WSIYour website marketing activities are geared to getting a qualified audience to your product pages, where typically the action you want to persuade a shopper to make is to click the ‘Add to Basket’ button. As such, your product pages are key to successfully converting visitors into customers.

In the first of this two part article we touched on the following ways to improve your product pages:

 

  1. Make the most of your copy
  2. Clearly present product options
  3. Use great looking product images
  4. Allow shoppers to zoom in on product pictures
  5. Improve presentation using models
  6. Keep the purchase process clear and simple
  7. Cross sell by promoting related items

In the second article we look at adopting best practice techniques, online technologies and purchase procedures that all work together in achieving the ‘perfect’ product page.

 

8. Clever Sub-navigation = Better Informed Shoppers
Provide shoppers with a generous amount of product information using tabbed product details. Including a simple but effective sub-navigation tool enables your customers to get a greater level of product detail without having to leave the page.

9. Encourage User Reviews
Publishing user reviews is a great technique for not only presenting the strengths of each product in a very practical way, but also presenting your store as a trustworthy e-tailer enabling shoppers to make informed decisions.

10. Realise the Power of Video
Becoming more mainstream – and for good reason – video is an excellent way to demonstrate a product, review its performance or simply wax lyrical about the best selling points.

11. Share Product Insights – and Your Expertise
Product demonstrations, by video or slideshow are a great way to help your shoppers make an educated decision while at the same time build trust with the buyer as you present yourself as someone who ‘knows their stuff’.

12. Feature Media Reviews
Continuing on this theme, seek out popular media reviewers and publish or link to their product presentations.

13. Remove the Risk
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome with online shoppers is the perceived risk of making that first purchase with an unknown online entity. Publishing a clear and up front warranty, shipping terms and returns policy from your product pages is a great way to put minds at rest.

14. Enable Social Sharing
Last but by no means least, make it easy for shoppers to share your pages across social media sites. People are always keen to tell friends and family of a great purchase or an outstanding shopping experience, so make it easy for them by including ‘like’ buttons and visible social share buttons.

In conclusion, your product pages are key to successfully converting visitors into customers, so time spent honing them is time well spent. If you would like to review the effectiveness of your product pages, please call 01454 261111.

 

How To Drive Sales With Landing Pages

Landing PagesLanding pages have long been the primary tool of the web-savvy marketer. Whether the visitor has arrived there through an advertisement, offer or search-engine link, your landing page is your first and best chance at making that conversion. 

The following article is by no means a comprehensive guide to success, however it does provide some tried-and-tested techniques. Feel free to use them either as a starting point or, if your current landing pages aren’t performing to expectation, as part of a strategy review.

Make Your Headline Clear and Concise
The headline is (or should be) the first thing a visitor sees on arrival. It’s your chance to make an impression and will, more often than not, give them a reason to stay or leave. Think about what you’re trying to achieve – does the headline summarise this intent? The headline should provide the bridge between the link the user has clicked and their desired goal.

Make it Snappy
We’ve all seen them, endless web pages usually linked to some miracle earnings scheme or weight loss method. This is the worst kind of marketing – in your face, crass and highly repetitive. Much as your headline should draw the reader in, your value proposition should be summarised in short, concise bullet points. In other words, make it easy for the reader to understand the benefits of what you’re selling.

Pre-Call to Action
You’ve no doubt heard of the much heralded ‘call to action’, however remember that everything you have written to this point is aimed at persuading the visitor to either sign-up or buy. Before your sign off, end the main body of copy with a persuasive message that leads into the call to action – effectively bridging the gap and preparing the reader for the close.

You Guessed It – Call to action
When crafting your call to action, consider what stage your visitors may be at in the purchasing cycle; problem recognition – information search – evaluation – decision – purchase. If your message is meant to be formative only, an aggressive or dynamic call to action may not be appropriate.

Many marketers still make the common mistake of being too aggressive with the close. Using terms such as ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Sign Up Now’ signify a commitment that could turn some visitors off and impact your conversion rate. When appropriate, try a softer, more encouraging tone using words such as ‘Try’ to coax the reader into that all important click.

A well prepared landing page is a highly effective internet marketing tactic that will let your site visitors hone in on the information they need, increasing the time visitors spend on your website and spiking your conversion rates. If you would like help to improve your Internet marketing effectiveness, please call 01454 261111.

Top Tips for Product Page Perfection – Part One

Product Page Perfection - WSI BlogAs the internet evolves and user expectation becomes increasingly sophisticated, creating and maintaining a successful e-commerce business has become a challenging task. When it comes to shopping online, usability is arguably as important as the product itself.

Product pages form a key component of the user experience, and as such a little extra short term investment can pay long term dividends with winning – and retaining – new customers.

In the first of these two articles, we’ll look at the key components that make up the ‘perfect’ product page.

1. Love Your Product? Love Your Copy
More than a simple description, your product copy should retain the reader’s interest. Remember – the secret of effective copy lies in understanding why the reader wants a particular product or service. Think benefits before features. Don’t forget your keywords too.

2. Do You Have This In My Size?
A golden rule of ecommerce is keeping your customer informed. Whether it’s size options, available colours, your returns policy, delivery charges or up-to-date stock levels – an informed customer is a happy one.

3. Painting a Thousand Words
A picture paints a thousand words – and nowhere is this more true than in the realm of ecommerce. Shopping is a visual experience, and a selection of high quality images is a great way to engage customers and sell your product.

4. Close Up and Personal
When shopping in a conventional sense, people love nothing more than to pick a product up and study it. An image zoom feature is a great way to help your customer to get a ‘feel’ for the product – in a virtual sense at least.

5. Injecting a Human Touch
Using models to demonstrate or interact with your product provides a nice finishing touch. It’s also a great way of demonstrating functionality.

6. What Do I Do Next?
The web is all about usability. After all, how can you expect your customer to buy from you if their ‘journey’ is unclear? Think of each visitor as a first time online shopper – as if they need to be taken by the hand and guided through the process. When it comes to the ‘add to basket button, think large and simple.

7. If You Like This, Then You’ll Love This…
Related items are not only helpful to your customer, but are a great way to increase revenue by cross-selling. Place these at the bottom of the page in a prominent position. It should be easy for people to buy your products. If they have to figure it out or work at it, chances are they won’t.

Look out for part two next month when we’ll continue to look at more tips for achieving the perfect product page. If you would like help improving your ecommerce website site, call 01454 261111.

 

e-Commerce Done The Right Way

In this golden age of e-commerce, a fully-featured online shop should form the cornerstone of any retailer’s web strategy. According to retail experts Experian, Boxing Day was again the busiest day of the year for online retailers: “UK Internet visits to online retail websites were 12% higher than on the pre-Christmas peak in traffic (December 5th) and 26% higher than on Christmas Day” (source: Hitwise.com).

It is surprising however, how many businesses feature nothing more than a catalogue and telephone number or email address, offering the user little or no incentive to make a purchase and weakening their brand in the process. If you’re considering your first foray into the world of internet retailing or perhaps need to revise your strategy, then this article has been created to provide some useful pointers to getting it right.

Make It Secure
The surge in popularity of online shopping has, inevitably, seen an exponential rise in instances on online fraud. Of paramount importance to any savvy shopper is security. Provide as many assurances as you can, including a secure payment facility.

Comply With Consumer Rights
Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 mean you must provide customers with your full company name and address prior to any purchase. Any purchase should be followed by a confirmation email and obligatory cool-off period. You can find more details by clicking on this link.

Pay Attention To User Experience
Web usability is everything when it comes to online shopping. Take some time out to navigate the user experience checking for ease of use, broken links and so on. Remember, if you don’t bother to get it right for the customer, why should the customer bother with you?

Coordinate Online With Offline
If you have a corresponding offline business (such as a shop, etc.) – ensure the two integrate seamlessly. Most importantly, make sure your prices correspond and that stock levels are consistent and up-to-date. If you are offering an online only promotion, make sure the terms are clearly visible so that customers do not expect to find it in store.

Add a Personal Touch
It may sound obvious, but offering a telephone number and email address will go a long way towards improving the customer experience – even on the web, good customer service remains the cornerstone by which all businesses are judged. Answer queries promptly and professionally. Consider using more recent innovations such as live chat/help for that added personal touch.

Show Some Personality
Installing an online blog and engaging customers over social media platforms is a great way to correspond with customers on a more personable level. Twitter for example can be used as a very effective customer service tool, or an opportunity to publish answers to frequently asked questions.

However you choose to approach online retail, taking some time out to formulate a online marketing strategy is essential. If you would like help to improve your ecommerce web site, call 01454 261111.